The SportsChump and I are back with another slate of top picks in the NFL and College Football. It has been a widely inconsistent season to this point, but I have learned one thing to this point. I have absolutely no clue how to pick the Penn State Nittany Lions and Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season. As my alma mater, I often avoid picking Penn State. However, I’m 0-3 picking the Nittany Lions ATS this season. As a result of that, I’ve decided to use this skill (or lack thereof) as a form of Penn State Reverse Psychology. With my last minute shift to the Golden Gophers last week, well… if you follow the sport, you know how that panned out. I’ll take it. So now that you know where my brain is likely going with some of my College Football picks this week, what about my Week 8 NFL Bets?
Here are our TOP FIVE Best Bets for the week (all against the spread), including our Week 8 NFL Bets and Week 9 College Football Best Bets. This includes picks from the SportsChump and special guest Coach.
Our lists are ranked in order of confidence, from 50 “points” down to 10. Please note that the lines for my picks are all taken from DraftKings Sportsbook (maybe some day they’ll notice).
DraftKings Sportsbook: Week 8 NFL Lines | Week 9 College Football Lines
The Wife Hates SportsChump: Week 8 NFL Bets and Top College Picks
KP’s Picks: The Wife Hates Sports
50: Tennessee Titans (-3) at Houston Texans
I don’t typically like to hone in rivalries in this division, because each game ends up like the football version of The Big Bang Theory’s “Anything Can Happen Thursday”. I’ll take Random Sitcom Quotes for $500, Alex. Derrick Henry has 20+ carries in each of the last four games and over 100 rushing yards in three straight games. That includes two games against the division rival Colts. Houston is dead last against the run, allowing 164.7 ypg. That’s enough for me with this line. Titans cover on the road.
40: Miami Dolphins (-3.5) at Detroit Lions
We expected offensive fireworks between the Lions and Cowboys last week, and didn’t get it. Miami was expected to move the ball a lot against the Steelers – and that also didn’t happen. Detroit has proven they can score, but the Lions are a -6 turnover differential on the season, 31st against the run, and 22nd against the pass. While Detroit looks like it will have D’Andre Swift and T.J. Hockenson active, Amon-Ra St. Brown remains in concussion protocol and is questionable. More importantly, Detroit’s secondary has taken on a number of injuries. For that, I’m looking for a steady run game, and some explosive plays by Tua to Tyreek. Dolphins cover on the road.
30: Wake Forest Demon Deacons (-3) at Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals have been dealing with injuries on their O-line and the team’s lead back was considered day-to-day this week. This Wake team is ranked in the top ten and has been all season. What am I missing here? Checking past history, Louisville has covered in the last three meetings, but Wake has won three of the last five games. However, the underdog has covered in 7 of the last 8. Statistically, Wake does not jump off the page on defense, so you can definitely score on them. However, the Louisville pass game (6 TD, 7 INT and 85th in ypg) will have to compete with Wake’s top 20 passing offense that has thrown for 25 TD’s through the air (with just 3 picks). In what could be a high scoring game, I like the Demon Deacons to win by a touchdown. Wake Forest covers on the road.
20: Northwestern Wildcats (+11) at Iowa Hawkeyes
Both teams are terrible this year. Usually, when you have awful vs. awful, you get awful. It’s easy math. Iowa is 122nd in passing offense and Northwestern is actually 45th, but with as many INT’s as TD’s. Iowa is 127th in rushing offense and Northwestern is 100th. I know the Hawkeyes are at home, but there’s just so much negative press with this team this year. They were absolutely dismantled by Ohio State last week. The Wildcats have not played well all season, but they’ll fight hard for Coach Fitz. Does anyone really think the Hawkeyes can win this game by double-digits, let alone score double-digits?! Knowing this pick, they probably will today. Still, give me Northwestern and the points on the road.
10: Ohio State Buckeyes (-14.5) at Penn State Nittany Lions
I graduated from Penn State and for some reason, have decided to pick against the Lions as a form of reverse psychology. I’m 0-3 picking Penn State ATS this season. That includes my last minute change to Minnesota last week. The Nittany Lions have lost 9 of 10 in the series, with the lone win being the famous blocked kick game back in 2016. Of the last five losses, two have been one-point chokes and none have been by two touchdowns or more. FOX has its Big Noon format, which I think takes away the liquid courage fan bonus that Penn State would have if this was in primetime. I also can’t help but compare this OSU team to the Michigan group that dominated PSU in the trenches. When Penn State falls behind or needs to keep up, they are facing Ohio State’s third ranked pass defense. Buckeyes cover on the road.
$50 on Arizona Cardinals (+4) at Minnesota Vikings
This Minnesota Vikings team is an impressive 6-1 but if you look a little closer, you’ll find they’re doing that against the crappier teams in the league. Last week’s victory over Miami as the outlier, the Vikes have been beating up on bad teams. Their only loss came to Philly, otherwise they’ve topped Green Bay, Detroit, New Orleans and Chicago. While it might not seem like it, Arizona is better than all those teams for one big reason.
Two reasons now that they have DeAndre Hopkins back, who caught 10 passes for 103 yards in his first game off suspension. That’s all the security blanket Kyler Murray needs. It was the most points Arizona has scored all season (42). The Vikes rank near the bottom of the league in yards allowed per game. Considering they haven’t played great teams, that doesn’t bode well for a team trying to chase Murray around all game as he does his thing. In real life, I’ll be betting the Cardinals to upset the Vikings but for the purpose of this exercise, I will be taking the Cardinals plus the four points.
$40 on Washington Commanders (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
I challenge you to find me two worse teams in the NFL this season than the Washington Commanders and the Indianapolis Colts. Once this game starts, maybe we can cave in the football field with explosives like Bane did in The Dark Knight Rises. It will spare their fans the agony of having to watch them the next two months. For some reason, once again, we find the Colts favored in a football game. Much like the Jaguars beating the Chargers, people are seeing that this Colts team beat the Chiefs earlier this season and putting WAY too much faith in them. They’re third to last in the league in scoring behind only Pittsburgh and Denver.
This week, they’ll host Washington who, if it weren’t for Ron Rivera, might supplant the Colts as the league’s 32nd best team. Like Indy, Washington can’t score either so a peek at this game under 39 ½ might be a solid play. I can’t believe Lucas Oil Stadium has the indecency to charge people to attend this game. This should be a freebie with fans leaving “Wouldn’t Come Back – One Star!” comment cards on their way out the gate. If there was such a thing as a half a star, I’d give both these teams solid consideration… combined. Since the Colts have no business being favored over anyone, I’m taking Washington plus the three.
$30 on Baltimore Ravens at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2)
They can’t be this bad. They just can’t be. Something is rotten in Denmark and by Denmark, I mean Tampa Bay. Divorce rumors, former owner weddings, offensive line woes, secondary health concerns, coaching shake-ups, dropped wide open passes and a disturbing inability to run the football. This sums up the Buccaneers season in a nutshell. They are unquestionably one of the most disappointing teams in football this season. Despite all that nonsense, the Bucs still sit atop the worst division in football. On Thursday night in prime time, they welcome in a pretty good Ravens team with one of the NFL’s most exciting players: Lamar Jackson.
The problem with Baltimore is that they remain one-sided with LJ still accounting for the bulk of their scoring output. That’s not a bad problem to have for unlike the Bucs, at least they can score. The Ravens are in a battle with Cincinnati for the AFC North lead, both sitting at 5-2 but the Ravens have played four straight squeakers, all those games decided by four points or less. The Bucs are coming off inexplicable, back-to-back losses against the Steelers and the Panthers and are one questionable roughing the passer call away from losing five straight. All that considered, there is too much talent on the Buccaneers for them to simply roll over. I get the feeling this team has done some soul-searching and realizes all is not lost. Besides, they’ve already got blown out in prime time once this season (see: Chiefs). They’re hardly about to let that happen again. Chasing Lamar Jackson around RayJay won’t be fun but the Bucs find a way to get it done. I’ll take the Bucs plus the two.
$20 on Denver Broncos at Jacksonville Jaguars (U 39 ½)
We’ve talked about Vegas not being able to keep up with the over/unders of certain teams. We did that last week to the tune of 2-0 and both numbers hitting. The Broncos are one of those teams. Whether or not Russell Wilson is taking snaps, the Broncos can’t score the football. They’re averaging only 14 points per game. Not only that but their defense is one of the best around, allowing 16 per game. You do the math.
In six of the seven games the Broncos have played this season, neither team has scored more than 20 points… and two of those games went into overtime! This game will be played in Wembley Stadium where I’m hoping fans won’t expect much scoring. Seriously, how does the NFL expect to market its game overseas if they keep sending over its worst teams? Maybe they’re hoping some of them won’t come back. I’m going to ride the under train until it misses. I’ll take Broncos-Jaguars under 39 ½.
$10 on Tennessee Titans (-2) at Houston Texans
I continue to bet the undervalued Titans and I continue to cash. Every week, I’ll hear some pundit say “Vrabel is doing a great job with this team” as if they’re unaware the Titans, despite their flaws, still rely on one of the game’s best running backs to carry their workload. And that’s just what they’ll do. One of these days his boots are gonna walk all over you. Henry ranks second in carries behind only the rejuvenated Saquon Barkley.
Add that to the fact that the Texans are the worst team in the league in stopping the run and yes, Houston, we have a problem. I know we can throw these stats out with the bathwater when it comes to divisional favorites covering on the road, but the number isn’t that big. The Titans are only two-point favorites, so I’ll ride Derrick Henry like they do and lay the deuce.
Special Guest: Coach (Last season’s record: 3-2, $10)
50 – Ravens will dismantle our defense and Lamar will run and gun the Bucs into an embarrassing loss. (Bal -2)
40 – Jville at home against the Broncos… The running games is solid and JVille’s defense is good enough to outscore the inept Broncos offense with or without Wilson. (Jax -3)
30 – Miami over the Lions… The Lions look like they had some promise earlier this season but as always, they’re back to being at the bottom. With Tua back, the Dolphins should handle the Lions easily on the road. (Mia -3 ½)
20 – Ohio State over Penn State just because the separation of talent. Ohio State is on fire offensively, they roll all day. (OSU – 15 ½)
10 – UCLA bounces back against against Stanford at home with a blowout win in style. Score prediction: 52-17 (UCLA – 16 ½)
Chime in with top picks and Week 8 NFL Bets for the week. Also, if you have interest in being a guest picker, please let us know via the comments below. Thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
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